“Did you have something to eat yet? You get stomach cramps if you don’t eat something soon after you brush your teeth,” enquired amma. “Ya maa, just made eggs and toast for breakfast,” she answered. By the end of the conversation Kanchanamala got teary eyed, but managed to hide it from her mother until the end of the conversation. She quickly rapped up the call, half listening to all the advice her expert mother was providing. To her family, Kanchanamala was a rock. A stubborn brat who doesn’t give up until she achieves what she sets to achieve. She did not want her amma to sense the pain in her voice, especially after going against her family to come to a new city.
She was sitting in the small balcony, attached to the kitchen, which was filled with cobwebs and crow shit. It was slowly starting to hit her, the fact that she was on her own. She was always a tube light of sorts emotionally, she understood that breakfast was not going to magically appear as soon as she got out of her bed, her brothers were not with her anymore to drive her around and her father’s pant pocket, her mini ATM, was not at her disposal anymore.
She was lost in thoughts as she saw grey smoke form in front of her. “Holy mother of god, am I hallucinating now?” she thought. She turned around to find Shakti enjoying her morning chai with sutta. “Problem if I smoke when you are around?” asked Shakti. “That question is supposed to be asked before you light the cigarette,” answered Kanchanamala. They had a straight face for a minute and burst into laughter. “Although I am going to most definitely kill you, if I am diagnosed with lung cancer because of you woman,” she said and laughed.
Kanchanamala was now standing at the entrance of the house and scanned every inch of it to make a list of all the things needed to turn this ‘khabad khana’ into a decent space to live in without contracting any kind of disease. Her eyes panned from one end of the house to the other, when Shakti entered the frame, she said, “We are going shopping tomorrow.” “Shopping? Great. Do you want to go Hyderabad Central or GVK One? We have choose strategically based on your budget,” answered Shakti. “We are going to buy groceries not clothes,” announced Kanchanamala. Listening to this, Shakti was in shock. Just like how Tulsi Virani had a shock when she saw her dead husband, Mihir, come back to life. Kanchanamala stood there with her legs slightly apart and hands placed on her hip ready to take on this mammoth task.